What is in this article?:
- Web Exclusive: College Gen Y-ers Set the Stage for Future Food Trends
- More college dining trends
Report finds students craving flavor, comfort, healthful choices, portability.
More college dining trends
Nut Butters: A Protein Pal
Even though today’s college students grew up “in a climate of peanut distrust due to the increase in children’s allergies,” they can now likely be found snacking on peanut butter right out of the jar. “I eat peanut butter out of the jar all the time,” responded one student. “It tastes good, is convenient, has little clean up, and satisfies my cravings.” The need for high-protein, good-tasting foods is creating demand for other nut “butters” as well—almond or cashew are also cited.
Fruit and Vegetable Discovery
At extensive salad bars across college campuses, students are discovering a whole new world of fruits and vegetables. Also driving some of the discovery are “well-established campus initiatives aimed at enlightening students to sustainable and local produce; on-campus farmers markets; organic gardens and produce-focused dining spots that literally bring the produce to the plate,” according to the report.
Asian Love Affair
Gen Y college students looking for spice adventure, comfort and health find what they’re looking for in flavorful Thai, Indian and other Asian cuisines, the report found. Flavor is the primary driver, but customization (with different proteins and fresh vegetables) is another draw to this cuisine. “We are witnessing a conversion moment, when students come to campus and discover international foods that will become beloved favorites for years to come,” the report states. Students crave “comforting Thai noodles, rich coconut milk curries and substantial Indian dishes.”
Italian and Mexican: Familiar Comfort
As adventurous as college students are, “sometimes a kid needs a little comfort.” While Italian and Mexican dishes like pasta, lasagna, pizza, burritos and tacos were once considered ethic fare, they’re now pretty much standard American cuisine. These two cuisines offer a lot of options, from heavy to light, sit-down or grab-and-go. The report predicts a growing demand for more regional varieties, more artisanal options and fresher, more healthful versions of Mexican and Italian stalwarts.
The report found students again and again mentioning “portable,” “eat quickly,” and “eat as I walk to class” in descriptions of their “go-to” foods. The young people surveyed have a busy schedule, with little time for sitting in a dining hall. They are quite often looking for more varied and healthful portable snacks and meals. They gravitate to C-stores that offer yogurt, granola bars, instant oatmeal, sandwiches and pizza. The report found that “campus dining services are working hard to add more grab-and-go items like packaged sushi, pre-made sandwiches, cut fruit and salads, yet not all students have access to these, forcing them to fend for themselves off campus…or buying food during the day.”
The full report, Collegiate Gen Y Eating: Culinary Trend Mapping Report, is available from Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com. For more information on obtaining the report, visit www.packagedfacts.com